This week saw the launch of ‘Powering Performance’ in our Dining Hall, a pilot programme created by our school caterers Sodexo. The new menu, which will sit alongside the school’s regular menu, will offer dishes which fall under four aims; Focus, Strengthen, Sustain and Recover.

The Powering Performance range draws on scientific research into nutrition and development and extensive studies linking specific foods to academic prowess, sporting ability, concentration and energy levels.

William Hackett, Catering Manager explained that the boys would be advised on which dishes would help them feel stronger mentally and physically.

“This is a very exciting programme which will help our young people understand the effect that the food they eat has on their bodies,” he said.

“All our boys – particularly those in our Sports Performance Group – already learn about the benefits of eating certain proteins and complex carbohydrates on their ability to strengthen their bodies or aid muscle recovery. This will form an extension of that allowing them to put the theory into practice.”

“We are allowing our boys to make informed choices – so we have set up a special area in the dining hall showcasing the meals on offer each day and explaining how their ingredients will help body and mind.”

Focus meals will be beneficial during exam periods. They include ingredients designed to sharpen the mind such as quinoa which contains choline – required by the brain and nervous system to regulate memory and mood.

Strengthen meals are designed to fortify and include high protein ingredients like tuna, eggs and chicken which are key for muscle development.

Sustain meals will be designed to energise and include ingredients such as spinach which is high in iron.

Recover meals will be high in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium.

Mr Sam Baldock, Deputy Head (Academic) at Bedford School said: “We are proud to be a school that brings out the very best in our boys – whatever their talents, skills and capabilities – as well as a school that leads the way on new initiatives to boost our boys’ performance. Making positive food choices is a key component of success in the classroom, concert hall, stage or sports field – so we are thrilled to be trialling this exciting concept.”

Our boarders will be offered the new selection of choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner while day boys will be able to benefit from the extra options at their midday meal.

The menus have been developed based on four key areas to match the mental and physical demands of a school day. For example, following sport our boys can come to the dining hall for lunch and find a recovery meal which has all the nutrients required to mend muscles. Alternatively, around exam time we can provide focus meals with nutritionally tailored dishes to boost pupils’ concentration.

The aim of Powering Performance is to help enhance the boys’ performance and give them the knowledge and education to choose the right foods to meet the demands of their school day.

If you would like to see some of the dishes being made and how they will benefit boys, take a look at the following films. Each film is just one minute long and is guaranteed to whet your appetite!


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